Listen locally 

If you listen closely enough, just beyond the rustling leaves and ruddy-faced laughter of children playing outside, you can hear it. The thump and rush of impending fall CD releases is upon us. It’s now time to take the shindigs indoors and enjoy sparkling cider and donuts in place of cake and beer.

But first, let us pause and reflect upon the great musical offerings served up the past few months — an overview of your summer listening list, perhaps. The Sights, the Waxwings, Red Shirt Brigade,, Mood Elevator, 12 Angry Steps, Slumber Party, Carl Craig and Le Triggers supplied us with enough feel-good hits of the summer to last us well through winter. But who wants to get comfortable? Keep them coming!

One of the most anticipated albums this fall just might be the WitchesUniversal Mall. The psych-garage rock band has been talking about it for a year, maybe longer, and it’s been confirmed that the recording is finished and the release date on Spectator Records is set for Halloween. It’s the first CD with the band’s new lineup and Aaron Warshaw of Spectator describes it as “this great rock record the Witches have had in them all along.”

And it’s just in time for trick-or-treating.

“A lot changes in three years,” says Troy Gregory, the band’s vocalist. “The last record was more claustrophobic and black-and-white. This one’s for the people.”

Detroit-based artist Glenn Barr is creating a three-panel piece of artwork for the inside booklet and the cover is going to have a glowing, purple cake on it. The vision came to Gregory in a dream and the Witches’ drummer bought a cake and snapped a picture of it before eating it. Also keep an eye out for a Sights 7-inch to be released on Spectator sometime in November or December.

If “ass & titties” music is more your style, get ready to move your low end to the booty bass of DJ Assault’s latest release, “Off the Chain for the Y2K,” due out Oct. 31 on Intuit-Solar. The advance copy is dope. Do the kids still say that?

It’s funny how booty music is so unshakeable, so easily likable. You can’t help but hum along to his electro bumpin’ funk stories about hittin’ it with hos and sluts.

Intuit-Solar is also rereleasing the electro-pop culture beats, bleeps and bass of the Japanese Telecom self-titled debut on CD Sept. 18. It includes three remixes from the 12-inch remix album that followed the original release. A 12-inch from Hush should be out in November on the label as well.

American Mars is working on getting a new album out by the end of the year, but that’s depending on art and legal wranglings, says the band’s guitarist and vocalist, Thomas Trimble.

“I think the biggest difference between this record and Late has to do with instrumentation,” he says. “Dave Feeny’s pedal steel figures prominently on the new record and, overall, I’d say the songwriting is a bit more focused and direct than on Late.”

We also can look forward to a move away from “post-Velvet guitar stuff” and toward a more “rootsy, almost Americana” feel.

Esion is also in the studio now, finishing up a CD that should be ready for release by October. The group says the new CD has a more aggressive electro-rock sound. The band will play all the new songs and some older ones Sept. 28 at the Blind Pig. and Blush open the show.

Don’t fret, mes amies. If you miss the Sleazy Listening Parties at Lush, DJ Lemmy Caution is back and he and Alpha Soixante are hosting a release party this Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Garden Bowl for a new DJ mix CD, Sleazy Listening. The party’s called “Bardot a-Go-Go” and it will feature all your ’60s French pop favorites along with “Italian (and other European countries) sound track music, usually from soft-core porn movies,” explains Caution. The CD is a collection of 29 of the DJ’s favorite songs from the genre. “It’s fun music just right for go-go boots, big Mod sofas and tends to feature a lot of female vocalists moaning.”

Other releases on the horizon include a CD of unreleased rarities and remixes by the Articles. And keep watching for the Wildbunch album, which is supposed to come out this year.

Planet Ant is putting out a sound track to Park: A Rock Band, with songs from Park, NPFC (Nineteen Point Five Collective) and Calloway. And Spindle says we’re finally going to hear the elusive Kenwood Ave. this year.

Planet E is putting out the second volume of Geology: A Subjective Study of Planet E. The first one, released last year, compiled a selection of songs, many of which were out of print or previously available only on vinyl. The second installment includes old favorites as well as never-released tracks and remixes from Common Factor, Chaz Vincent and Carl Craig’s Paperclip People personality.

Look out for a record from Dogmatic (formerly K-Stone) in mid-December. And sometime soon, Belgium’s Audiobot label is putting out a single from Persona in a limited-edition release.

Early next year — which is coming sooner than you think — look for a new release by Morsel on Small Stone Records, which should help fans along in the mourning process after the band’s unfortunate split. And Warn Defever spent a week in New York last month, mastering the latest His Name is Alive record, which will be released on Time Stereo in January. Whew. Keep the sparkling cider flowing: Your ears are going to be busy this fall. Melissa Giannini covers the metro-Detroit music scene for the Metro Times. E-mail her at

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